Getting Rid Of Silverfish From Your Home

silverfish pest control Leinster

The bug that makes your skin crawl

No one likes finding these long, flattened insects in their house. With their silvery bodies, where the front is broad and the rest tapers towards the rear, they easily manoeuvre all around the property. They are a nuisance, chomping through the grains you’ve stored in the pantry and leaving behind their excrement, chewing up everything from your clothes and upholstery to the wallpaper.

Effects of silverfish in the house

Sure, they aren’t directly harmful to humans – save for those occasions where they freak you out especially at night since that’s when they are most active. It’s not something you look forward to seeing when you head to the bathroom or reach for your toothbrush. However, the amount of damage they cause can drive you to the edge.

The pesky insects like sugar and carbohydrate-rich diets. Nothing is spared. Cereals in the kitchen, books in the home office, those nice outfits in the closet, tissue in the bathroom, newspaper, cardboard, even human hair that’s on the ground – it’s all eaten up. It can be frustrating when you find your elegant suits and dresses with holes, that set of family photo albums ruined, or when you open up your cereal box for breakfast and a horde of the critters streams out.

Note that the silverfish can result in allergic reactions in sensitive persons. This is because of the scales they leave behind when shedding their skin – the process known as moulting. These scales mix with the dust and can trigger the reactions when inhaled. For instance, a study published in the Allergologia et Immunopathologia showed that silverfish stimulate breathing difficulties in persons affected by the common indoor allergens. Don’t worry about them crawling into your ears though. That’s just a myth. The bugs will actively try to avoid humans.

What to do when you have a silverfish infestation

1. Seal the food

Firstly, take away their nourishment. Seal up food in airtight containers. Especially for the dry goods. For example rice, pasta, flour, and cereal. And even pet food. Make it harder for the insects to find the meals to keep their populations from exploding.

2. Get rid of clutter

Given that silverfish enjoy chewing through those old newspapers, books and magazines, leaving them lying around the house is an open invitation to the insects. Clear up the clutter, arranging the items you need in proper storage, and get rid of the stuff that you have barely touched in ages. For the keepsakes that you can’t bear to lose, you can store them in airtight bins, especially if they are to be kept in the attic or basement.

3. Reduce humidity levels

This bug likes moist and humid environments – so take that away as well. This is done in a number of ways, the most common being using a dehumidifier. Relative humidity levels of above 50% over the year will encourage the silverfish population to thrive. Using the dehumidifier to lower these levels will make the conditions unconducive.

Ensure that rooms and the attic are well ventilated, and get rid of standing water, mopping up those spills as soon as they occur. Remember to check for issues like faulty plumbing as this can contribute to areas of the building having excessive moisture. Also ensure that the gutters and downspouts are clear, in order to allow water to flow away. Exterior cracks should be sealed as well, such as using caulk.

4. Get some Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

This powder consists of the remains of fossilised diatoms. Coming into contact with the DE destroys the outer waxy coating of the silverfish. This in turn results in moisture loss from their bodies, and eventual death. Sprinkling the DE around the baseboards, cupboards, and other areas where you suspect that the bugs are will help in reducing their populations.

5. Bring in the pros

This pest is tough to completely get rid of. Firstly, their flat bodies mean that there will be plenty of areas they can seek shelter in. They also move around pretty fast, dashing to the nooks and crannies of the house to hide immediately the lights are turned on. Being nocturnal adds to the problem, since it will be harder to spot them. Things are worse in houses with wooden shingles of the roof, since they are prone to moulding, which is one of the favourite meals of the bug. DIY pest control methods will likely end up being more trouble than they are worth, and use up much more resources without summarily solving the problem. On the other hand, a trained professional with both the skills and equipment needed when dealing with silverfish infestations will be better placed to identify the areas where the pests are residing, and apply the appropriate treatment measures to rid you of the nuisance.